A Second Serving: Manager’s Moment #2

Welcome to A Second Serving, a blog series from Compass Group’s Talent Management team, showcasing managers across our family of companies.

Erin Long

Erin is a District Manager with Chartwells K12. She initially joined Compass Group in 2004 working in Operations. She then transitioned into a role that supported internal rebids and sales. In 2013, Erin came back to her Operations background as District Manager, with a much broader understanding of client retention and sales.

According to her manager, Eric Pimental, Regional Vice President, “Erin has successfully cultivated talent from within, helping hourly associates become salaried managers, and managers move into larger opportunities. Additionally, she has also been instrumental in helping more experienced managers, new to K12, make successful transitions. Erin has a natural ability to connect with people, utilizing a very businesslike, but nurturing, style that allows her instructional proficiencies to benefit both the company and clients alike.

What does developing your associates mean to you?
It means getting your people to be “thinkers.” I challenge associates to solve their own problems and help coach them to get there if they are struggling. In the short term, this may take more time, but in the long run it creates a more autonomous, self-sufficient management team.

Do you try to incorporate on-the-job learning with your team?
Yes, we do a lot of workshops with my team. For example, we will meet as a group to work on forecasts and budgets together. We actually have one scheduled tomorrow! It allows my associates who are strong in a certain area help provide leadership in a classroom-like setting. It’s a group approach to training. It’s also great for comradery and bonding.

Have you nominated any of your associates to a Compass Group Leadership Development course? Which ones?
Yes, of course! I need to get associates ready for the next step, so we nominate associates for courses such as DDL, Project Readiness, and ADAPT.

What advice do you have for Compass Group associates looking to develop their careers?
Take those stretch assignments when they are offered. If they haven’t been offered, talk to your manager and pose stretch assignments in areas of the business you are interested in. You never know what you will like until you give it a try. For example, try out that marketing champion role or stretch yourself with owning safety.

Do you have a favorite quote or personal mantra?
It’s not what you say, but how you say it. And, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. It’s all in your approach and attitude!